With the COVID-19 vaccine finally becoming available, travel enthusiasts are hopeful that 2021 will be the year to hit the road and make up for everything that was lost last year. It is important to note that the availability of the vaccine is a not cure-all for the pandemic. It will take some time for the vaccine usage to become widespread enough to achieve herd immunity. Until then, traveling will still require a bit of creativity and the need to take precautions to guard your health.
With that in mind, here are 10 of the best places to add to your travel bucket list for 2021.
Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, Florida: The gem of Central Florida is set to kick off its 50th anniversary celebration this fall in grand style. Disney World truly will be the most magical place on earth with a birthday party that is sure to please guests of all ages and interests. In addition to the newly opened Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at the Hollywood Studios, the theme park mecca is set to roll out a variety of new attractions and entertainment offerings.
Alaska: There has never been a better time to head to the Last Frontier. Prior to the pandemic, approximately 60% of all Alaskan tourists arrived via cruise ship. With the cruise industry put on hold because of the health crisis, tourist crowds in this state are at record lows. This makes it a great time to visit if you are looking to take advantage of the opportunity to soak up the beauty and marvel at this pristine wilderness without big crowds.
National Parks: Pick a park, any national park! America’s vast system of national parks is one of its greatest treasures. Visiting a national park is a great way to ease back into travel in 2021. Because most everything is outside, you can easily take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 while on this fun family outdoor adventure. You can choose to focus on one specific national park or hit up an area with multiple parks located within close driving distance to each other. For example, try pairing a trip to Grand Teton National Park with a visit to Yellowstone National Park.
Tokyo, Japan: As it stands now, the rescheduled Summer Olympics are still scheduled to begin on July 23 in Tokyo. After so much investment in infrastructure, the country has been waiting patiently to welcome visitors back. In addition to the actual Olympics taking place, the city has added a host of stunning new hotels and other entertainment options to keep you busy. Beyond the busy city, Japan boasts premium ski resorts for wintertime travel, relaxing hot springs, and more.
Park City, Utah: If the mountains are calling your name, Park City will satisfy all of your travel adventure dreams. Regardless of if you head to Park City during the winter or summer or any time in between, you will never be bored in this mountain paradise. Historic Main Street offers a cornucopia of dining and shopping options while the mountain resorts deliver an amazing array of places to stay while you soak up the beauty and activity of the Wasatch Mountains.
Napa Valley, California: Northern California has done relatively well keeping the virus in check, making Napa Valley a popular destination throughout the pandemic. One of the best parts of Napa is that the region features a bevy of outdoor dining and wine tasting options so that you do not have to go indoors. Instead, you can soak up that brilliant California sun while tasting some of the best wines in the world. If you need to satisfy your need to visit a big city, San Francisco is only one hour away, making it a great day trip to complement your travels.
Costa Rica: If you are looking for an affordable vacation that feels exotic and fresh, you would be wise to check out Costa Rica. The tourism industry was certainly booming in this Central American country prior to the pandemic rocking the world. Once the health crisis eases up, Costa Rica is poised to come back stronger than ever. Travelers routinely praise Costa Rica for its gorgeous national parks, miles of coastline, an abundance of outdoor recreational adventures, and more. All of this can be had a value-driven price, making Costa Rica a good investment of your vacation dollar.
Maui, Hawaii: After it shut its borders, Hawaii was able to do an admirable job containing the COVID-19 virus. After months of careful consideration, the Aloha State was able to open its doors for visitors again by requiring a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. This makes Hawaii one of the safest places to travel even during the pandemic. While the island of Kauai is not encouraging visitors, Maui has gone out of its way to extend the warm aloha welcome to tourists. The picture-perfect weather and tropical landscape make Maui the perfect place to visit at any time of the year.
Bend, Oregon: If you still are not ready to get back into the hustle and bustle of travel, consider a place that is a little off of the beaten path. Bend, Oregon is an outdoor recreational lover’s dream. The area is flush with hiking, mountain biking, and rafting opportunities. Craft beer enthusiasts will delight in the region’s numerous brewery options. You will instantly feel relaxed when you arrive in Bend.
These 10 ideas are just the start of where your sense of wanderlust may take you in 2021 and beyond.